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Driving Information

Originally published on November 10, 2009
Most recently updated on January 8, 2014

Whether you drove before you had a brain tumor or are getting ready to drive for the first time, you want to be sure you are ready. There are adaptations which can be made for vision impairments and there may be circumstances in which you are better off not being on the road. Sometimes, you may just need to prove to your parents you can drive.

Here is information on test which go beyond the basic driving test. We are investigating where the best place to go for the test are and how in the world to pay for it. Check back for updates.


  • Legal blindness
  • Inability to walk 200 feet without stopping
  • A neuromuscular dysfunction that severely limits mobility
  • Severe limitation in the ability to walk due to arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition
  • Any other physical or mental impairment not previously listed that constitutes an equal degree of disability, and imposes unusual hardship in the use of public transportation and prevents the person from getting around without great difficulty

* Driving assessment process begins when a client is referred to a driving evaluation service by a physician, vocational rehabilitation, therapist, Department of Motor Vehicles, or Insurance Company. The Driving Assessment may be a pre-requisite to driving in order to ensure competency. A trained occupational therapist or other health professional performs the evaluation.

Evaluation with an Occupational Therapist:

Off-road evaluation also known as pre-road or in-clinic evaluation includes the following domains; vision, visual-perception, motor, and cognition. Examples of tests are listed below:

  • Motor-Free Visual Perception Test
  • Trail Making Test
  • Money Road Map Test
  • Letter Cancellation
  • Cognitive Behavioral Driver’s Inventory
  • Brake Reaction Timer
  • DriveABLE Competence Screen
  • Mini-Mental State Exam
  • Driving Simulators
  • On-road Driving Evaluation

Most use a standard driving route and standard scoring system with a route length greater than 30 minutes.

* There is no standard of Off-road and On-road tests; tests given vary depending on where the test is administered.

* Written recommendations are provided to the patient, and by request the recommendation will be submitted to the DMV who will make the final decision about licensing. For example, the need for adaptive equipment as well as his or her ability to use it successfully.

Evaluation of Driving Skills at St. Jude Medical Center:

  • Approximately 3 hours
  • Visual and perceptual screening
  • Testing of reaction times in a simulator
  • 60 minute on-the-road experience in a dual-control vehicle

* Insurance does not usually cover the fee for this program, 45% discount can requested if fees are paid in full within 30 days. Physician’s order is needed to enroll.


A person with a history of seizures may be able to drive if the seizures are well-controlled and have not occured for a certain period of time.  This time frame varies from state to state.  Your neurologist may need to submit medical paperwork indicating that you are cleared to drive.

The Epilepsy Foundation has a detailed list of individual state driving laws.


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